Orleans Tech Turns 40
Orleans Technical College, a leading Philadelphia non-profit career school operated by JEVS Human Services, is celebrating its 40th year of providing career training and educational programming to residents of the greater Philadelphia area. Click here for “Fun Facts” about Orleans.
“It’s amazing how far we’ve come in four decades, and we’d like to thank all those along the way who have helped this school make a measurable contribution to our community,” said Jayne Siniari, Campus President, Orleans Tech. “We take pride in the thousands of graduates we’ve prepared not just for jobs, but for careers. We love that we’ve been able to have such an important impact on business in the Delaware Valley, and we are dedicated to continuing to do so.”
Beginning in 1974 with English language classes for Soviet immigrants and clerical skills for homemakers returning to jobs – Orleans Tech has grown through many stages to emerge as one of the premier non-profit vocational schools in Philadelphia, serving the city, suburbs, and New Jersey (see history below). The school now offers classes in six trades, as well as training in the human services field and the only court reporting program in the region approved by the National Court Reporters Association, starting students on journeys to meaningful, steady and well-paying careers. In addition, Orleans Tech is also sought out for the comprehensive support services they provide students, including job search assistance, financial-aid assistance for those who qualify, industry-experienced instructors, and a hands-on, real-world curriculum, including opportunities for industry certifications. The integration of classes and services, combined with an employer responsive curriculum, provides trained and talented graduates available for employment to area businesses. Since the opening of its new building in 2007, Orleans Tech has already trained 4,420 students.
“What makes Orleans Tech such a strong educational institution is our ability to meet the training and employment needs right here in our region,” said Jay Spector, President/CEO JEVS Human Services. “When the employment demand for court reporters skyrocketed, we were there with the best possible program to help students leverage that opportunity. We look forward to doing the same for the next forty years and beyond – identifying employment training needs and filling them – seeing opportunities and helping as many people as possible turn them into foundations for great futures.”
Orleans Tech’s strength and longevity also come from its emphasis on building lasting, mutually beneficial relationships. These include connections with staff, students, graduates, and local employers. Key to the Orleans Tech philosophy is ‘student for life,’ meaning the relationship doesn’t end after graduation.
“We work with our graduates to make sure that their strengths are being utilized and they’re given the ability to continue to grow in their fields,” said Debbie Bello, Director of Admissions, Orleans Tech. “And from top administration to classroom instructors, we really value each and every student. In fact, successful Orleans Tech students have returned after gaining years of industry experience to become instructors and give back to others wishing to learn new skills. This is a wonderful testament to the power of relationships.”
Relationships with employers are also invaluable to the school, allowing them to offer a curriculum that keeps up with the latest trends and technologies.
“Being such a staple of the Philadelphia business community has allowed us to establish decade-long relationships with some of the most respected employers in the region,” said Bello. “It goes back to being mutually beneficial. Employers help us develop our curriculum, and we help them meet staffing needs with workers who are well trained, eager to perform and take on growing responsibilities. Employers are looking for employees who are loyal about delivering quality work with consistency and integrity.” Orleans Tech’s recruitment and staffing services are made available to employers at no cost as well.
Mini-History: 40 Years of Empowering the Community
- 1974: Orleans Tech opens and becomes licensed by the PA Department of Education offering training in clerical skills for homemakers returning to jobs
- 1976 – 1977: Orleans Tech added its first three trades programs: Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating; Plumbing and Heating; and Residential and Commercial Electricity.
- 1979: The growth of the school necessitated a move to the A.P. Orleans Vocational Center on Rhawn Street in Northeast Philadelphia
- 1981: The school became accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges
- 1985: Orleans Tech Evening School division was added.
- 1986: Orleans Technical College opened a branch campus in Center City Philadelphia and began training it’s NCRA-approved program in Court Reporting, now an Associate’s Degree program
- 2006: Orleans Tech adds Human Services career training/classes
- 2007: Orleans Tech moves to a state-of-the-art 88,000 sq ft facility on Red Lion Rd in Northeast Philadelphia , Orleans Tech offers 29 classrooms, labs and shops combining both campuses in one location.
- 2014: Programs currently offered at Orleans Tech include Building Maintenance; Carpentry; Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating; Plumbing and Heating; Residential and Commercial Electricity; Court Reporting; and Human Services.